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Louisiana State Parks

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USA Parks
Greater New Orleans Region
Dean Lee State Forest
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The Dean Lee State Forest is a picturesque natural oasis located in Louisiana, offering unparalleled beauty and tranquility within its expansive boundaries. With rich marshlands, captivating waterways, and dense groves of towering trees, this forest is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Its diverse ecosystem nurtures an array of wildlife species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. Visitors can explore the forest through well-maintained trails, allowing them to immerse themselves in the serenity of nature while enjoying activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing. From stunning landscapes to its abundant wildlife, the Dean Lee State Forest provides an opportunity to connect with the great outdoors and experience the wonders of Louisiana's natural heritage.
Nature of the Area
Dean Lee State Forest is a pristine natural reserve, encompassing a captivating, biodiverse landscape. Blessed with an exquisite blend of towering pine trees, lush wetlands, and meandering streams, this forest offers a peaceful sanctuary for both nature enthusiasts and wildlife alike. Its tranquil atmosphere and well-preserved ecosystem provide visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, with opportunities for birdwatching, hiking amidst scenic trails, and even enjoying picnics amidst the captivating surroundings. From its shimmering ponds to its vibrant flora and fauna, Dean Lee State Forest remains a true testament to the breathtaking natural wonders that Louisiana has to offer.
History of the Area
Dean Lee State Forest, located in northern Louisiana, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. It was established as a demonstration forest in 1926, making it one of the oldest state forests in Louisiana.

The forest is named after Dean Lee, an esteemed professor of forestry at Louisiana State University (LSU). Lee was instrumental in promoting the conservation and sustainable management of forests in Louisiana. He also played a vital role in establishing the LSU Forestry School, which served as a training ground for future foresters.

Initially, the land that comprises Dean Lee State Forest was heavily logged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The deforestation led to erosion and degradation of the soil, threatening the sustainability of the forest ecosystem. Recognizing the need for reforestation and forestry education, the LSU Forestry School began using the land as a demonstration forest.

With the support of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression, Dean Lee State Forest underwent extensive reforestation and infrastructure development. The CCC, a public work relief program, provided young unemployed men with jobs and housing, helping to restore the forested landscape.

Over the years, Dean Lee State Forest expanded its size, reaching over 6,000 acres. Today, it serves as an educational and research area for forestry students, offering opportunities to study and practice sustainable forest management techniques. The forest also provides recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and hunting.

Dean Lee State Forest remains a vital resource for promoting the conservation and sustainability of Louisiana's forests.
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Dean Lee State Forest is located near Bogalusa, Franklinton

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Area Campgrounds
Ron Son Bear Village Trailer park
42175 Louisiana 16
Franklinton, LA

- From Baton Rouge, head northeast on I-12.
- Take exit 42A to merge onto LA-16 E towards Amite.
- Continue on LA-16 E for approximately 20 miles.
- Turn right onto LA-444 E.
- After about 4 miles, you will arrive at the entrance to the Dean Lee State Forest.

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Louisiana State Parks